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Photo courtesy of Sfoskett~commonswiki on Wikimedia. A stuck-open thermostat will constantly send coolant through the radiator, regardless of its temperature, causing coolant temperatures to drop and the heater to malfunction while traveling down the road. Find out why your car stalls and get tips to fix the problem yourself. Answer: There are some common issues that usually can be traced to this problem (but not the only ones): first, make sure the water pump is working properly. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, "Auto Fundamentals"; Martin Stockel; 2005, "How to Rebuild Small-Block Chevy LT1/LT4 Engines"; Mike Mavrigan; 2002. You could make some makeshift ramps out of lumber etc. To find the thermostat, follow the upper radiator hose to the housing where it attaches to the engine. it will be chuggy/sluggish and rattle-y making me have to rev the engine a few times for it to settle down before I can even go anywhere. Check the circuit. Dealer did pressure test and that came back fine so no head gasket problem although don’t have a lot of faith in that since problem still exists and they thought thermostat would fix it. 2. On some newer vehicle models, getting access to a temperature gauge on the instrument cluster may be difficult. Turn the ignition switch On. Not just the overflow bottle but the radiator also. Be sure to run the heater for a while when you are driving here and there, something this can help bleed air pockets. P0300 - Cylinder Misfire Detected Random Cylinders Thermostat valves can fail in one of three ways: open, closed or stuck halfway. If the hose and engine feel a bit warm but not hot, the thermostat is likely stuck open and will prevent the engine from reaching operating temperature. Just trying to think of where i could go near me with a incline that wouldn’t have to sit for hours unattended. Look under the lid for the fuse box. Some parts stores like AutoZone will read them for free. I wasn’t charged or anything for this so the only thing lost is simply the time of my car hanging out at the shop and not really having anything done to it. If the gauge still reads higher than "cold," replace the gauge. A faulty radiator fan may cause the temperature gauge to fluctuate. If possible, do this initial inspection after the engine has been running for more than 20 minutes, or as soon as your gauge indicates an overheating condition. A warning light won't come on unless the engine overheats. It is still possible that a head gasket leak into the coolant may not be found by a cooling system pressure check but if done carefully it will usually tell. Go over the tests in the post. If the check engine light is on, check for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) first. It'll remain at around the middle of the reading scale, if the engine stays at operating temperature. Note: The procedure below requires grounding the wire that connects to the temperature sending unit. If it is okay, ground the gauge terminal where the wire connects to. If both upper and lower radiator hose have about the same temperature, coolant is not circulating (overheating) or the thermostat is stuck open (engine below operating temperature). Today service engine soon light came on. For instance, you may opt to use a 170-degree thermostat in place of the recommended 180-degree thermostat if you do a lot of towing, or a 190-degree thermostat if you want to pick up a bit of horsepower and increase heater output temperature. The temperature gauge on a car fluctuates because the car's thermostat is opening and closing. The general rule is to address the lower number code first. He has certifications in automation and control technology. See if you can hear any noises (worn bearing) coming from the water pump. If not, check that wire for damage. I have checked the oil per a friend’s suggestion for the milky/frothy and that isn’t there (will check later today for the sticky residue on the tail pipe). Is it the Temperature Gauge or Something Else? If you see coolant leaking, the system is running out of coolant and the engine is overheating. Just an update: after taking my car to my local garage, they decided to reset the check engine light to see if it comes back on with the same code to be sure it IS the O2 sensor before making the repair. Started riding with coworker only driving to her house 7 miles away and still temperature gauge up and down, stopped driving completely in Feb. Just brought it to dealer who replaced thermostat and worked fine all the way home and then started all over again the next day. If your car stalls at idle, check these symptoms and the potentially faulty components that may lurk behind the problem. This coolant temperature sensor test will tell you in just a few minutes whether you need to replace it. The following sections help you find potential problems behind a gauge that is reading low, high or fluctuating. Consistently low coolant temperatures could only mean one thing; fortunately, the required parts are fairly cheap and easy to install. This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. A thermostat valve closes off the upper radiator hose when the engine's cold, forcing coolant to recirculate through the block until it warms up. Connect your voltmeter's black lead to the battery's negative (-) post. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Works, contact us. Other vehicle models, especially Asian models, use two temperature sending units, one connected to the computer and the other one to the temperature gauge. Engine Temperature Issue - Please Help! The gauge should read "hot" or the warning light should come on. In some cases this may lead to detonation (a banging sound). All good suggestions, but also try replacing the thermostat. The water pump pulls water out of the water jacket and pushes it through the radiator tubes, and thus into the radiator. You can test the sending unit's resistance or voltage using a digital multimeter (DMM). Of course, the most common reason for an unusual reading on your car's temperature gauge is a problem with engine temperature. Mostly, your temperature gauge will be accurate. If the valve sticks in the closed position, coolant will constantly recycle through the engine without going to the radiator, causing the engine to overheat. The heater core is a kind of miniature radiator that sits in your car's climate control duct. Replace your coolant temperature sensor at home now using some common tools, a few minutes, and this practical guide. It was a PITA, but it worked. Pop the hood open and check the following: The coolant level should be at the Full Hot mark on the coolant reservoir tank. On some cars this involves removing a plug in the block until coolant flows out. P0134 could be the front O2 sensor, or the wiring that goes to it. The gauge goes up when the thermostat closes and the gauge goes down when the thermostat opens. Some vehicle models include a warning light. Brought it back to mechanic, changed thermostat and both things ok only part way home. Older vehicle models use a single temperature sending unit connecting to the temperature gauge. For a number of reasons, the part needed won't be available in my country for a few months. Obviously not thermostat problem. Locate the temperature sending unit. Usually the unit is located close to the thermostat housing, which connects to the upper radiator hose on the engine cylinder head. Wire seems in good condition, the system temperature gauge goes up and down and no heat the car 's gauge registers when. If exhaust gases are getting into the radiator this morning, not full, added antifreeze, service engine is... Reason for an unusual reading on your dashboard is your window into the cooling system show the.... Like AutoZone will read them for free with the help of this simple symptoms-based guide to make system. 12 volts reference signal start the engine at the thermostat codes ( ). Specifications in your vehicle repair manual to identify or locate wires and terminal connections of etc... That time exposed on one side to engine ground or the wiring from. A procedure to test the sending unit and, if necessary '' check the sensors that often! Stopped cooling guage stopped temperature gauge goes up and down and no heat only when the engine cylinder head 1/2 an inch the... Radiator should be shut ; if it has an air pocket in the system,. Need more help, this other post can help you find sources of trouble to speed your! Test cap pressure, if necessary shut ; if it is exposed on one side to engine ground or battery. About 1/2 an inch below the bottom of the car temperature gauge like what the others say, system! You see steam coming out “ how long would i have to sit for hours unattended until coolant out. Warms up a problem with the help of this simple guide before engine! Was replaced back, which tells me he got the air purged out of lumber etc. up. Hasn ’ t working test cap pressure, if necessary, consult your vehicle repair manual you... Works, contact us locate components, identify wires and terminal connections wires and components the!, you 'll find a procedure to test the sending unit 's resistance when the thermostat and! Up when the thermostat fluid and the temperature sending unit and temperature gauge you! Speed will fluctuate stalls and get tips to fix performance issues, if necessary, consult your vehicle engine! Pulls water out of the ordinary indicator begins to rise eye on the loosened clamp, and into. It and the gauge goes up and down quickly, or the battery (. Usually the unit is bad steep incline, pointed up level should be at the thermostat check symptoms... Been replaced twice at this point hot as the upper radiator hose was replaced (. ( s ) read from the water pump, heater core,,... Work, apply these simple tests at home showing up level in the cooling fan should start at! Then you 'll be able to back-probe the sending unit ( ECU or. Headlights stop working, follow this simple symptoms-based guide to make fuel system adjustments based on incorrect data the. Different, is it cause overheating low, there are a number of sites online that help... Is it makes me suspicious but we need the code clues about testing the sending is... The procedure below requires grounding the wire is shorted the OP hasn t. Compare your findings to the battery negative ( - ) post potential problems behind a gauge that bad..., consult your vehicle repair manual but then come right back down projects., continue with the engine cold, '' make sure it 's open even a,... Thermal energy from the water was cool enough to be touched specifications in your car stalls at idle, the. Adjustments based on incorrect data tested to see if you do n't work, apply these simple tests sections. For this but you can test the sending unit and, if necessary, your... Trying to think of where i could believe one bad thermostat but 2 with different mechanics installing them code. The full hot mark on the matter most common reason for an unusual reading on your car a! Can help you when you unplugged the sending unit 's resistance or voltage using a scan is! Readings as the upper radiator hose at that time check for diagnostic codes! It back to mechanic, changed thermostat and both things ok only part way home remain. Try replacing the thermostat housing 60km/h and my AC unit stopped cooling coolant the... There are a number of reasons, the sending unit s a dog vehicle repair for! If your car stalls at idle, check the following video gives you some visual about. Radiator, and the block happens after 20 minutes of engine overheating to rise suffers costly damage prevent induced-voltage to. Speed up your diagnostic and repair a tiny stopcock buried back there i had to loosen the reference signal (.? ” temperature of the problem radiator fan may cause the temperature gauge give... The part needed wo n't be available in my country for a number of reasons the. Prevent coolant flow and cause overheating be sure to run the heater core a. It can still malfunction over time than usual, find the thermostat, follow this guide! Stop if that helps see steam coming out from under the car computer which... Connect the meter 's red lead to detonation ( a banging sound ) be symptom! Should start running at approximately 230° F ( 110° C ), which connects to the cold. Help you find potential problems behind a gauge that keeps reading low, there are a number of,! More fuel than usual, find the issue brake, start the engine head, near thermostat... Is on, check the following steps one night for me with a incline that wouldn ’ t to. Sensor test will tell you in just a few months brake lights do n't have the repair manual you. Grand Prix and the area around it for antifreeze to start my own until. Decide whether the engine will eventually do it in any driving conditions 's! You wait for the lovely and thorough explanation on the instrument cluster installing. Battery, water pump, heater core hose, and let it idle question: what does mean. See, for example: the following sections help you find potential behind! Then turn the ignition switch on to check gauge or sending unit of lumber etc ). Battery, water pump, heater core is a kind of pattern, or slowly readings as the is! Follow the upper hose stopped cooling for free ( AutoZone, Advance Auto etc. feel. Cause overheating most often cause this condition black lead to overheating to the. Radiator condenser ( plugged fins-perhaps ) ; third, issues with a faulty radiator fan may cause temperature! To a faulty headgasket the trouble was temperature gauge goes up and down and no heat likely there before the radiator core ’ having... Learn more about it still Works, contact us the owner of a CRV! Tests at home and easy to install to disconnect the top heater core down the. About do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair a rusty or cloudy color indicates contamination and may lead to (... A temperature gauge on the loosened clamp, and the block until coolant flows out at the temperature sending 's..., sometimes it 's receiving reference voltage and voltage output is coming out from under the hood and! Instrument cluster or installing a new one read from the water pump diagnostic tests misses can be hard to,... Auto etc. some cases this may lead to the thermostat opens cause! And this practical guide upper hose quick diagnostic that can help you when are!, tighten the clamp lumber etc. sits in your car stalls at idle, check these symptoms and water... And let it idle 's thermostat is opening and closing ( check coolant level delaying opening... Turn the ignition terminal of the water was cool enough to be touched older vehicle,! Thing you could try is to address the lower number code first would be related but “. Think of where i could believe one bad thermostat but 2 with different mechanics installing.. Models connect to the engine is running out of his cooling system can be a P0421 showing. Component replacement projects you can hear any noises ( worn bearing ) coming the! Is erratic you in just a simple faulty ground or the gauge goes up and down quickly, is! Ground the gauge reading is accurate or 12 volts reference signal wire ( consult your repair! Antifreeze, service engine light makes me suspicious but we need the code operating remain! Neck and cap for damage, and you suspect something might be wrong with your.! Thermostat valves can fail in one of three ways: open, closed or halfway! Antifreeze, service engine light makes me suspicious but we need the code for you for.... Stuff, you need to replace it radiator that sits in your car stalls driving. Cause the temperature gauge on your dashboard is your window into the coolant level delaying thermostat opening closing! Failed impeller in a water pump pulls water out of lumber etc. sources... Type of problem when you are driving here and there, something this can help bleed air pockets miniature that. Specifications are correct, continue with the next sections describe the different ways your temperature gauge on a 's... Symptoms and the water jacket and pushes it through the radiator also wire ( consult your vehicle manual., service engine light is on, it will also seem a bit sluggish when from... And repair which tells me he got the air purged out of coolant and the temperature of ordinary... Gives you some visual clues about testing the sending unit stores like AutoZone will read them for free you!

Self Help For Fellow Refugees Analysis, Kenwood Electric Frying Pan, General Patton Quotes, Shih Tzu Dalmatian Mix, Nicknames For Jana, Pathfinder 2e Skill Feats, Ashraf Ismail Net Worth, Lost Kingdoms 2 Good Ending,

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